Scope and arrangement
George Dows Cannon (1902-1987) was a radiologist in Harlem, New York City. The George D. Cannon papers include: biographical summaries; family estate papers for Cannon's aunt, Rosettie Atkinson (1968-1974), his mother, Genevieve Wilkinson Cannon (1959), and Vivian M. Cannon (relationship unknown); research papers on William Augustus Hinton, the first black professor at Harvard University's medical school and on Cannon's father, George E. Cannon, also a physician; copies of Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency disclosure files about Cannon (1943-1963); and income and tax records (1977, 1978, 1981).
Also in the collection are Cannon's radiology logs and account books (1978-1982); daily record sheets (1981); patient diagnosis letters (1974-1980); black physicians and dentists lists; speeches delivered by Dr. Cannon (1940-1980); typescripts of interviews (1960, 1974), and published writings (1935-1975).
There are papers relating to Cannon's work with the Barnes Foundation (1960-1977), the NAACP Legal and Educational Fund (1940-1982), the Sub-Committee on Health and Hospitals of the City-Wide Citizens' Committee on Harlem (1942). There are also corporate papers for Geocan Realty, Inc., of which Cannon was a shareholder (1958-1978).
Incoming and outgoing correspondence files (1932-1981) document Cannon's professional career as he sought to further his studies in the tuberculosis field, his attempts to improve conditions at Harlem Hospital and reduce mortality rates from tuberculosis, as well as a resolution he authored that was introduced in the New York County Medical Society urging the American Medical Association to admit Southern black physicians to regular membership (1950). In other letters of the 1940s he wrote about his participation in founding the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (HIP). Also included are letters recommending that Cannon be awarded citations that summarize his contributions to his medical and civic pursuits, and correspondence with publishers about his unpublished autobiography (not included here).
Correspondents include: artist Andrew Wyeth; Horace M. Bond, President of Lincoln University; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Rudolph J. Thomas, Executive Director of the Harlem Branch of the Young Men's Christian Association of Greater New York; Howard M. Payne, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Howard University; Alfred Ring, M.D., Medical Superintendent of Triboro Hospital (Long Island, New York); Charles F. Stewart, M.D., Chairman, Committee on Hospitals and Dispensaries, Medical Society of the Country of New York; C. St. C. Guild, M.D., Field Secretary, Committee on Tuberculosis Among Negroes, National Tuberculosis Association; and A. Philip Randolph, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.
There is an interview with the City-Wide Citizens' Committee on Harlem, in which Cannon discussed discrimination against black physicians and tuberculosis patients in New York City hospitals in the 1940s. There are also speeches concerning tuberculosis patients, Lincoln University, and his advocacy of national health insurance (1940s-1950s). Additionally, there is a speech by Judge Constance Baker Motley entitled "The Continuing American Revolution" (1975).